Your provider will have you schedule a colposcopy, normally, when your pap test shows abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. A colposcopy is a way of looking at the cervix through a special device called a colposcope. The scope works just as a microscope would by enlarging the normal view, and it also shines a light into the vagina and onto the cervix.
A colposcopy is done in our office by one of the physicians. This procedure is done similarly to a pelvic exam. First, a solution is applied to your cervix to show any abnormal cells. A biopsy is done when the physician sees any abnormal areas. The physician may also take cells from the canal of the cervix which is called endocervical curettage (ECC). The biopsies are sent out to a pathologist at an outside laboratory. The results can take up to two weeks.
If you have biopsies taken you may have some discomfort for a few hours. You also may experience bleeding and cramping after the procedure which is normal.
For more information on colposcopies, please visit the ACOG website.